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UMRio - developing communities with rugby

Gilbert Rugby News — Published on October 9 , 2015

Rugby World Cup 2015 is proving that the game of rugby is truly a global game. Rugby television viewing figures in Japan over the course of the tournament show a snippet of the global reach and interest. Gilbert is dedicated to spreading the message of the game to all parts of the world, to share the games immense benefits and values as far as possible.

Over the summer we sent a selection of kit over to Brazil to a programme called UMRio (ONERio). UMRio aims to change the perception of the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro that came to the mass media’s attention in the build up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The Favelas and their residents have been handed negative stereotypes, and it is crucial that self-esteem is returned to those living there to ensure future generations can flourish.

UMRio currently has 132 children enrolled on their programme – 50% of which are girls.  That intake has trebled in just 12 months. As the programme enters its third year, the future is bright.

They have developed a partnership with Oxford University, who help them develop interest from a range of social backgrounds, as well as sending volunteers out to work with UMRio every year to help the programme grow.

Through their recent “#EuQueroSer” (#IWantToBe) action programme, UMRio identify what young people want to achieve in terms of education and in their personal and professional lives, and help them work out the best ways to allow them to achieve their goals.  For example, UMRio participant Luis Carlos seeks local harmony: “I want to do something that improves the lives of residents of my community. I want to actively combat racism within my community, and especially the way the police treat black people in Morro do Castro”.

Kit has been sourced through tireless fundraising, crowdsourcing, and a brilliant $5,000 prize from the AIG Rugby Safety Awards. UMRio kids are now kitted out almost entirely in Gilbert Rugby kit!

For more information on the UMRio project, contact them via their social media channels below.


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